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Community Toilets and the Challenge of Urban Sanitation in Nairobi, Kenya

Carlos Rufín and Johann Frield

October 2018, English

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

The case focuses on the growth of community toilets in Nairobi’s sprawling informal settlements. Municipal officials can ignore community toilets and seek the development of centralized sewerage networks, embrace them as part of the city’s sanitation strategies, or oppose them as inimical to centralized networks and as aiding the consolidation of the settlements. To act, officials must consider the major challenges of sanitation in informal settlements, the standard approaches implemented in developed countries, and the pros and cons of community toilets—which in turn requires an evaluation of the social, administrative, and physical impacts of these facilities relative to alternative modes of provision, as well as their potential integration into the city’s sanitation plans and policies.

Recommended citation: Rufín, Carlos, and Johann Frield. 2018. “Community Toilets and the Challenge of Urban Sanitation in Nairobi, Kenya.” Case study. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.


Environmental Management, Environmental Planning, Infrastructure, Urban Development